I've been in the scrapbooking industry for several years, having started as the editorial assistant for Simple Scrapbooks magazine. But I've only been seriously scrapbooking since the beginning of this year. The inspiration for me to start scrapbooking our family's stories was the impending birth of our first daughter. I have three boys, two of whom are already adults going to college and one who is still in high school. So, having a baby now has been like starting over.
As I thought about the gap between my children, I realized that there were so many little things - traditions and memories - that we have with the boys that Elise may never know about or get to share with us and it breaks my heart.
When I hear the word, "Tradition," I think about my Dad and how when I was a child I would stand on his feet and he would sing, "If I Were a Rich Man" from Fiddler on the Roof. He continued this tradition with all of the grandchildren. But this is one of those traditions that Elise may never get to experience for herself.
Traditions are so important. They connect our family and friends to us. They give us something to look forward to and they teach important lessons to our children. So I decided that I'd better start writing these special stories down as a way to connect my two families. What a better way to do this than to scrapbook them with photos and everything! Even though I don't have tons of photos to illustrate every tradition we have, I do remember the following stories, so I took a photo to help illustrate one of the pages. (You can see one of our family traditions that is now also legend in our November Gallery.)
This first page documents beloved story books that I read to my boys. Story-time at our house happened every day after bath-time and was a very special time that we shared together. I wanted to illustrate a few of our favorite books, so I fanned them out and took a photo. The photo of the boys reading just happened to be in a filebox full of photos that need homes in a scrapbook. What luck!
Brandon is reading his favorite book, "Garfield's Two-Minute Stories" to his brothers. And true to what I wrote on my profile, there's my own handwriting. I ran out of printer ink Sunday night and keep forgetting to buy more, so I did what any true-blue scrapbooker would do - improvise! It's not about being perfect, it's about getting the story down on paper, right? RIGHT! And there's a lot to be said about the virtues of preserving your handwriting for posterity.
This next layout features our favorite holiday - Halloween! Every year, until this one, we spent the holiday with my two sisters and our cousins trick-or-treating, watching movies, playing games and eating yummy food.
To create this page I pulled photos from a few different years. Since I had several photos to showcase, I hid my journaling in the spiderweb paper. Hidden journaling is one of my favorite scrapbooking tricks. In this case, it allowed the photos to really shine and me to use more product without the page looking cluttered.materials: 12 x 12 | patterned paper & cardstock stickers (Heidi Grace for Fiskars) + die-cut letters (QuicKutz) + Slick Writer pen (American Crafts)
I asked our Collective to share a tradition that is important to them. Maybe our traditions will spark your memory and inspire you to create a page about one of your family traditions. Here's what they shared:
Black Friday shopping with my sister-in-law Suzanne. I AM one of those crazy ladies who gets up at 5 a.m. on the day after Thanksgiving to brave the crowds. It's something Suz and I look forward to for weeks, and it's a great bonding experience for us. ~Angie Lucas
My friend always has a holiday party called Pseudo Turkey Day: the Thanksgiving you really want with your friends not family. We dress up, everybody brings wine and food, we play games and hang out. It really is more fun than the real holiday. Another tradition is since I'm vegetarian I always make my own food for Turkey Day. I make a cranberry nut stuffing shaped like a turkey and a spicy brown gravy. My family teased me about it, even refused to try it, but now they look forward to it ever year. ~Jen Wozab
The week before Thanksgiving we put a page up on the fridge with numbers and blank spaces. Each day of that week we each add one thing we're thankful for to the list. we read the whole list together on Thanksgiving day. ~Aly Dosdall
When I was growing up, my family had the tradition of always going to Pizza Hut on Christmas Eve. It's a little strange, but nothing says Christmas Eve (even now!) to me like pizza and Dr Pepper served in those tall, red plastic cups pizza places have!
As for Thanksgiving traditions, we mostly follow the standard ones, but I always make my Grandma Watson's stuffing from her recipe every year--I'm a big believer in cooking being an important connection to the past. We also do something other than shopping on the Friday after Thanksgiving--last year we went to Mount Vernon for a tour. Anything to keep us out of stores that day! No Dillow functions well in mobs/crowds. ~Elizabeth Dillow
We have many traditions for Thanksgiving, including a three-hour drive to Los Angeles from San Diego with our three kids singing a chorus of displeasure at the amount of time stuck in the car, despite all manner of video games, movies and iPods.
We also do the drawing of names for the Christmas gift exchange. And without fail I end up picking the same name every year. As my grandparents have aged, our Thanksgiving meals have become much more of a potluck meal, with each family being responsible for a side dish. And because we have 35 people gathering at my grandparents house on Thanksgiving, there are usually three or four different tables set up to accommodate us all, and usually involves a potluck of chairs as well. And every year, without fail, something always gets left in the oven. Usually a hapless pile of dinner rolls or a crock of peas and onions. Lastly, at every family gathering at my grandparent's house, you need to start your good-byes a good 30 to 45 minutes before you actually want to leave. With 35 people to hug and kiss and three kids to round up, it takes a very long time. ~Tina Cockburn
My sister and I spend Thanksgiving post-dinner planning our attack for Black Friday. That morning, we head out at oh-dark-thirty and stay in touch via phone. We used to meet up at some point, but this year we are 3000 miles apart so it will be remote check in only. ~Lain Ehmann
Usually it's just the four of us for Thanksgiving. So I usually declare the day a pajama day - the kids love it and so do I. Terry not so much. ~Celeste Smith
We have a "stray" party for Christmas Eve - meaning we invite all our friends who don't have family or plans over for dinner and I make up a pile of quesadillas, homemade salsa and guacamole and we have a casual dinner and then play games or watch a Christmas movie together. There are usually a bunch of kids here so we check NORAD and follow Santa and make reindeer food for the kids to sprinkle outside when they get home.
We don't have any Thanksgiving traditions. Well, except the weekend after Thanksgiving for the last 4 years we've gone camping with the same group of friends and the Saturday night we have a deep fried turkey and everyone brings a side dish. I guess that kind of counts. ~Cheryl Overton
I go shopping on Black Friday with my mom and sister. Nothing too crazy, we don't meet up until 10 or so. Christmas Eve is always at my mom's. That's when the girls wear their dresses, we have a big meal and exchange gifts. Christmas Day is much more laid back. ~Erin Sweeney
We don't have Thanksgiving here, though I did make my first ever pumpkin pie last year with the tinned pumpkin Elizabeth sent me (it was wonderful and new to our whole family).
Christmas Day is always the formal day where we have the big lunch and the lighting of the Christmas pudding (no matter how full you are, you always make room for pudding, custard and ice-cream!). Boxing Day (December 26th) traditionally is a day of rest; playing with your gifts, swimming, and eating yummy leftovers. ~Jody Dent-Pruks
How about you? Do you have an important tradition that your family shares? I hope you'll create a page about your tradition and share it with us on our Flickr Gallery. Or share your tradition with us in the comments section.